Succotash Pasta

succotash pasta
Photo: Dana Gallagher
Prep Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
50 mins

If you crave a new summer pasta, try this dinner inspired by Succotash—a hearty southern side dish made with sweet corn and lima beans. Our version substitutes zucchini for the pale green beans and adds some kick with crisped bacon and jalapeño.


  • 3 slices bacon (4 ounces), chopped

  • 12 ounces short, tubular pasta, such as penne

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced (1 cup)

  • 2 small zucchini (10 ounces total), halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick half-moons (about 2 cups)

  • 2 basil sprigs, plus ⅓ cup fresh leaves, sliced if large, for serving

  • 1 ½ cups fresh corn kernels, plus milk scraped from cobs (from 2 ears)

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons)

  • 1 jalapeño (ribs and seeds removed for less heat, if desired), minced

  • 3 tablespoons apple-cider vinegar

  • 1 ¼ ounces Parmigiano- Reggiano, grated (½ cup), plus more for serving


  1. Cook bacon in a large straight-sided skillet over medium heat until crisp and browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels. Remove fat from skillet.

  2. Cook pasta in a large pot of generously salted boiling water until al dente, about 2 minutes less than package instructions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water; drain. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in skillet over medium-high. When it shimmers, add onion, zucchini, and basil sprigs; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and golden brown in places, about 8 minutes.

  3. Reduce heat to medium; stir in remaining 1 tablespoon oil, corn kernels and milk, tomatoes, garlic, and jalapeño. Cook just until garlic is fragrant and tomatoes begin to release their juices, 1 to 2 minutes. Add vinegar; cook 30 seconds more. Add pasta and 1/2 cup reserved pasta water; continue to cook, tossing, until sauce thickens slightly and clings evenly to pasta, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; remove and discard basil sprigs. Stir in cheese. If needed, add more pasta water, a little at a time, until sauce evenly coats pasta again. Serve, topped with bacon, a drizzle of oil, more cheese, and basil leaves.

Cook's Notes

If using a large zucchini instead of two small ones, quarter it length-wise before slicing crosswise. Use the side of a spoon to scrape the corn milk from the cobs.

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